Three injured in explosion at Aurora apartment complex; hundreds of residents displaced
Updated at 3:19 p.m.
Three people were injured in an explosion at the Parkside Collective apartment complex near Aurora's city center.
Aurora Fire Rescue crews were dispatched to reports of smoke on the 14000 block of East Alameda. After arriving, an explosion occurred on the western side of the building, according to Aurora Fire Rescue, forcing the entire complex to be evacuated.
Three were injured in the explosion. Two were transported to UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital and one was taken to Medical Center of Aurora. No details on severity of injuries have been shared publicly.
Fire Rescue said on Twitter that 300 to 400 residents have been displaced as a result of the explosion and will be moved to a nearby shelter.
Aurora Fire has not said what the structural status of the building is and that it was working with the Red Cross and the building's property management to help displaced residents. Aurora Fire did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
At around 9:30 a.m., building resident Emmanuel Rosado said the building's fire alarm system activated. He evacuated the building and saw neighbors running outside and away from the building.
"When we got out, we saw smoke coming from the front of the building, and a few minutes after that, we saw the explosion," Rosado said, adding that he felt shocked from what he had just witnessed.
"They are saying that (for) at least 36 hours, we are going to be without a place to stay or that nobody is going to be entering the building," Rosado said. He said that residents have been told to go to Gateway High School in Aurora for temporary shelter.
"I don't know what to do," Rosado said. "We just moved here in November. We are lucky that we have friends, but other than that, we don't have any family that we can stay with."
Matt Lynn, a Parkside Collective resident whose fifth floor sits on the eastern side of the building, was drinking coffee and reading the news when he had to evacuate. He said he didn’t hear the explosion.
“When I got downstairs I noticed that there was a pretty significant emergency response on the opposite side of the building,” Lynn said. “So, I walked around and that's when I saw that there was a large hole in the side of the building and someone on the ground being treated for injuries to his face.”
Lynn had someone pick him up because he felt residents wouldn’t be allowed in the building for a while and that property management hasn’t told residents when they can return to their apartments.
“It's my understanding that (the) Red Cross has been activated to start working with people which leads me to believe that people may be displaced for some time,” Lynn said. “But, it would certainly be nice to hear from the property management as far as what we can expect in terms of when we can access our things and potentially get back in.”
Parkside Collective management could not immediately be reached for comment.
Denverite photographer and reporter Kevin Beaty contributed to this report.
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